Pushing for living wages

The struggle to get by is one most of us can relate to. From the rent to the groceries, there are a lot of bills that pile up every month. Then if we consider the little surprises that come up, like your car breaking down or an unexpected health concern, life suddenly gets even more expensive. Now imagine dealing with all of that on a salary that doesn’t even cover the necessities.

Living wages are a human right. Everyone should receive a wage that covers his or her basic needs, yet, the wages earned by the people who make your clothes are not livable.

Despite decades of talk about living wages, workers have seen little action. We need a new normal. We need to change the industry. 

Our message to brands is simple: Get more money to the people who make your products. Now.

Our groundbreaking Labour Minute Calculators and other tools help brands, suppliers, trade unions and others understand how increasing wages will affect product costs. Such understanding is uncommon in the garment industry. Brands and factory owners alike are often surprised to find that it is possible to increase wages and still compete in this cutthroat industry.

We look to ‘beacons’—or cases where we work with leading Fair Wear members to raise wages—as the starting point for industry change. Based on these experiences, we develop tools and guidance to help others also become beacons. We then share these tools and insights with stakeholders far beyond Fair Wear to create widespread wage improvements for the people who make our clothes.

We invite all stakeholders to join us in this great experiment in raising wages across the industry. Living wages are indeed becoming…the new normal.

Check out our Living Wage Tools

Resources

Living wages: An explorer's notebook

This explorer’s notebook is a guide for figuring out which routes brands and factories can take to achieve payment of living wages. Here…

Productivity: The Key to Funding Living Wages?

This discussion paper is designed to explore the relationships between productivity, efficiency and living wages, and to locate productivity…